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The author's views are entirely his or her own, and don't necessarily represent the views of Ahrefs.

Corporate power often leads to destroyed livelihoods. Whether it’s Exxon or BP that destroy entire states without paying for the damages, banks like Goldman Sachs destabilizing whole countries or patents on grains from Monsanto making farmers in India commit suicide in droves.

These issues are so called public secrets. The entities involved are so powerful that they can get away with it. People like you and me are the victims.

Google controls Web traffic

Google may be not a monopoly in search according to US lawmakers – as other search engines are “just a click away” – for webmasters the dependency on Google is sometimes overwhelming though.

Not many people can choose how visitors arrive on their site and one-sided SEO can sometimes even worsen the situation. Google changes its algorithm frequently and often on a whim. Recently it downright penalizes webmasters for a plethora of often hard to fathom reasons. The numbers of desperate business owners victimized by Google rise. I’m not just talking hypothetically, I have personally witnessed sites and businesses affected by sudden Google changes in a disastrous manner.

Google has not only monopolized the online public transport it also effectively controls the whole infrastructure.

They can reroute almost the whole traffic over night. In case your business depends on the virtual street being full of search traffic your business model is high risk these days. Unless you have enough money in the bank to buy back your traffic from Google by way of text ads you may end up out of business sooner than you think.

Bankruptcy

I have written many posts on how to limit your dependency on Google. Indeed I went cold turkey myself after Google penalized my own blog. I banned Google search on it to learn to attract audiences directly again.

In this post I want to deal with the ramifications of the bankruptcy by way of Google instead.

Sometimes businesses do not go bankrupt but have to lay off a substantial amount of their employees. These people may end up being despondent too, especially in times of a perpetual crisis in which only the banks get saved but not former house owners becoming homeless. So today I want to ask you:

Are you suicidal because Google destroyed your business?

I had a fair share of shattering experiences with Google myself so I know how helpless you may feel fighting with the Google windmills. The good news is though: you are not alone. Webmasters all over the world are dealing with the disastrous effects of Google policies. As individuals these people are not able to cope. It’s possible to organize though. I’m talking about

and other forms of organization that can help you to protect your interests.

Google Opportunism

Remember that Google is not a natural disaster.

There are people responsible for your fate, in many cases it’s not just you but engineers trying to hide behind an allegedly impartial algorithm. Don’t get run over by billionaires who don’t pay taxes. Giving up your life only helps those in charge to destroy even more livelihoods.

What’s not a solution in the long run is what I call hyperopportunism. Hyper because it’s on the Internet but also because it’s so exaggerated. Many people try to fulfil Google’s demands pre-emptively,

  • crippling their own sites
  • removing links
  • adding the nofollow attribute
  • dumping third party advertisers

Remember that links to Google competitors selling text link ads are considered “unnatural links”. The more you try to follow Google’s footsteps and heed their advice the more they enslave you. Your dependency just grows.

You may have gotten away during Panda or Penguin this time but next time the Parrot, Piranha or Pig update may kill off your business.

Cooperate

Small business owners are often unable to compete with Google. When they join forces they can to some extent.

In the SEO industry we have a positive SEO technique where dozens of experts join forces to rank together for a competitive term. A good recent example is the quite popular query [seo tips]. A group post on Webgnomes is now at #1 in Google.com thanks to the cooperation of very large group of people. Can Google randomly hide such a search result? It’s far less likely than when you fight alone.

The goal must be also independence from one website.

Google can’t ban the whole Web so in case you are well known and many websites publish your content or write about you are better off. Before you can cooperate with others you have to find them so I want to make a start here.

Have you been negatively affected by Google whims? Are you struggling with traffic throttled by the gatekeeper? Are you so desperate by now that you consider giving up altogether? In case you have nothing to lose anymore you can as well add a comment here.

Tad Chef

Tad Chef writes for SEO blogs from all over the world including his own one called SEO 2.0. He helps people with blogs, social media and search, both in German and English. You can follow Tad on Twitter @onreact_com to get his latest insights daily.

Also in: Google Algorithm Updates, Industry's Insights.
  • http://www.adeptecommerce.com/ Alex Montoya

    Good work, chef.

    • onreact

      Thank you for the kind words Alex!

  • Spook SEO

    Hi Tad!

    What an excellent write up you got here. I agree that we should always put in mind that links to Google competitors selling text link ads are considered “unnatural links”. The more we try to follow Google’s footsteps and listen to their advice, the more they enslave us.

  • Md Amair

    Yes, In fact the Goolge Algorithsm are way too bad, because they hit website who are in business from past 7 to 10 years with quality content and best reviews of customers, The businesses cannot quit, but only option left out is to buy traffic from Google (Adwords). After reading your article, it gives a real sense of direction of how to do the marketing. So it makes complete sense to stop dependent on Google and generate traffic from all sources of Web and Offline.

  • William Margita

    after 2 years i have been unable to recover
    I had 6 ecom sites that all use to be #1 -3 for every keyword because we actually specialized and had the exact names and really worked.
    now everything just goes to Amazon and ChanelAdvisor sites like Overstock were you have to pay Chanel Advisor 12K a month + to get on their platform. Google, Amazon & Chanel Advisor were all in Vegas the day before Peguin release – coincidence?

    the day after a I ran a report for Google back words on SEMRUSH and saw that “sex toys” was #1 on Amazon and still is , even “xxx” goes #1 to IMBD an Amazon company.

    a week later I ran the same report and those words all disappeared (probably someone saw my post)

    All it comes down to is nobody can keep up with Googles plan and they are killing small biz off. I have left the USA.

    Obviously the US Government and Google do not care about people
    I have 12 other friends who also have been crushed – 1 is now working at Costco.
    another went to facebook.

    Google does not take calls except for ad money

    Google is the clear winner and that is that —- good luck USA – but Im out